Rubens wins European Grand Prix

Rubens_valRubens Barrichello took his first victory today at Valencia after Chinese GP in 2004. Brazilian dedicated his victory in the European Grand Prix in Valencia this weekend to his injured countryman Felipe Massa. Last December, Rubens was not certain to get a seat in a F1 car but now he has shot himself into a contention for WDC. The victory is down to the team’s strategy and his drive and determination during the whole weekend. Most of the teams came out of their garages to applaud him!

Lewis Hamilton is second in the race and continues excellent pace Mclaren have discovered recently. His cruise for the first place was not helped by Mclaren decision. Hamilton was meant to come in on lap 37 but Mclaren wanted to extend him to 38. But this decision came a couple of seconds too late, the time during which Hamilton entered the pitlane. In the process tyres were not ready and hence at least 6 seconds were lost.

Kimi Raikkonen stood third in the race. The KERS power boost at the start saw Kimi move immediately up two places to fourth.

Kovalainen, Rosberg, Alonso, Button and Kubica finished in points in that order only.

Red Bull had an awful day at office with Webber finishing in 9th while Vettel DNF due to engine failure. Another person with an awful weekend was Luca Badoer. He finished seventeenth after several spins.

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Red Bull dances to one-two finish in China

delirious vettelSebastian Vettel cruises to first at Shanghai International Circuit in China. This is second career win for the young German driver and first victory for Red Bull Racing. The victory of Vettel is further sweetened by second place finish of team-mate Mark Webber.

After heavy rains at the circuit the race could only start behind Safety car.

McLaren, Ferrari and Renault struggled for another weekend although McLaren finished fifth and sixth to salvage certain points. Miserable times at Ferrari continued after Massa stopped for a car problem and Raikkonen just couldn’t cope up with rest of the field and finished tenth.

Flawless victory by Sebastian Vettel is another step towards his future goal of winning WDC

Sutil heartbroken after missing points

Adrian Sutil of Force India crashed at Shanghai, China when he was running sixth with five more laps to go.  As in Monaco last year he was followed by reigning WDC but this time he was undone by himself!

Sutil started with light fuel but went for more fuel in the early laps as the race started behind Safety car.  More fuel meant effectively a one stop strategy when racing resumed. It paid dividends when he rose to sixth by lap 49.

‘We knew it would have been tight on the tyres, but the grip in the corners was enough to stay in a good position, but with the aquaplaning on the straights it was sometimes hard to keep it on the circuit. You never knew what was going to happen because the car went to the left or the right. With six laps to go I hit another patch of water and ended up in the wall. It was very disappointing.’ – Sutil

Sutil finished ninth in Australian GP and seventeenth in Malaysian GP.

Crash

2008 season review in videos

The collection of videos best describing 2008 season of Formula 1 –

The first 17 races

The last lap, the last race – What a finish!

Start of the season – Massa in Hungary

Overtaking move of the season – Massa on Kovaleinen and Barichello in Canada

Controversy of the season – Hamilton being stripped off the win after steward ruling

Crashes of 2008

Shanghai ready to ditch F1 race from 2011?

Shanghai officials have put on thinking caps to decide on the future of grand prix racing. Break-even looks unlikely among mixed response for F1 in the region. The current contract costs as much as $50m a year and runs until 2010.

“We’re doing the assessment. By next year, we should be able to give you the answer,” Qiu Weichang, the deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Sports, told AFP. “We want to create a win-win situation, for our side and for Bernie [Ecclestone] and the F1 organisers as well. If this is something we can do, and our co-operation is very happy and smooth, we will consider it. Of course we would like at least to break even. But there are two factors – one is the assessment; the other part is the win-win situation that we can create.” – Qiu Weichang, deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Sports:

China dropping the race would mean the benefits of hosting the race do not really outweigh the cost associated with it and send a message to new players.

Thinking on the same lines i wonder whether proposed Indian GP will be a profitable idea? Rates of Tickets are controlled by FOM which are exhorbitant. Will Indians turn up in great numbers to see a race?

Hamilton dominates Chinese weekend from start to finish

This time there was no break of nerve or gearbox problem or sticking in gravel. This time Hamilton cruises past Shanghai circuit from start to finish and goes to Brazil with a 7 points lead. Hamilton was fastest in all sessions at China except 1. Raikkonen, who was second till last 8 laps paved way, for Massa to finish ahead of him. Raikkonen was third.

The race was a borefest with little overtaking initially by Webber and nice little fight between Alonso and Kovaleinen (After so many exciting races a boring race was due!). Kubica finished sixth after qualifying only at 12th position and is now out of WDC picture. Alonso felt like winning after finishing fourth. The race clearly showed the ability of the Mclaren to get the desired tyre temperatures in a single lap and Hamilton outpaced everyone of the grid by 0.3 secs a lap (a phenomenon gap!)

The last laps were amid a bit of controversy among the fans as Raikkonen was paving way for Massa to let him pass (It wasn’t as subtle as interlagos last year when Raikkonen got ahead of Massa). But, what Ferrari did today was no different to how Lewis Hamilton passed Heikki Kovalainen at Hockenheim, or how Robert Kubica passed Nick Heidfeld at Montreal. Raikkonen was sacrificing for his team and returning the favour Massa did for him at Interlagos last year.

Another heartbreak for Adrian Sutil of Force India with his 11th retirement of the season.

With Hamilton having the same gap going into final round as last year many Ferrari fans will be expecting of another miracle. But lightening doesn’t strike twice!! The Hamilton is definitely more mature than last year and will be taking it easy to win WDC. He just needs a fifth place finish at Interlagos when Massa wins the race to take home WDC. It will be after ’99 that a McLaren driver will be taking the trophy home. But, lets not get carried away!

2 weeks to the last race of the season now.

Stumble It!

Hamilton cruises to another pole at Shanghai

Lewis Hamilton will be at the pole tomorrow at the start of the Chinese GP. Behind him will be Raikkonen and Massa respectively. Alonso is fourth. Hamilton had a comfortable pole with the difference between him and Raikkonen being 0.3 sec (exposing his lighter fuel strategy?).

Kubica is out at 12th position and will be expected to compete with one stop strategy (Can we count him out of WDC now?)

The race will be very interesting to see the Ferrari’s strategy, Hamilton’s strategy and role of Alonso in the outcome of WDC.

Hoping for a cracking race!

Top 5 drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton 1′36.303
2. Kimi Raikkonen 1′36.645
3. Felipe Massa 1′36.889
4. Fernando Alonso 1′36.927
5. Heikki Kovalainen 1′36.930

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